I love this series and normally don't give it anything less than 4 stars - Stabenow has interesting characters, good plots and a clean writing style. This particular book didn't feel as "Alaskan" as her earlier ones and Kate's private life didn't really advance, so the book pretty much rode on the primary plot alone. The main plot, while solid and concluding with all loose ends tied up, just wasn't satisfying. If you are a fan of the series, by all means read the book. If new to it - start at the beginning.
Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series keeps getting better. Now that she and Jim Chopin are back together (sort of), there is an added dimension to the story. I keep hoping she'll make an honest man of him someday. ;o)
A very unusual and unexpected ending. Another GREAT Alaska adventure with Kate and Jim and the Alaska aunties and old farts.
The character of Kate Shugak is an interesting. Dana Stabenow never fails to reveal more about her and the people around her.
Great addition to the Kate Shugak books!
Great addition to the series!!
Having read all Kate Shugak novels preceeding this one, I was anxiously awaiting its release. While I did enjoy the book overall, most of the fun came out of revisiting a favorite character in a familiar setting. The best way to describe this book is 'comfortable.'
This book highlights a Kate we know well. She's set her sights on something and goes forward with a single-minded determination. Kate struggles with her age old issues - driving need for independence, clash of family obligations and personal desires, daily struggles of life in the park. And death in the park, of course.
It's almost unfortunate that the Shugak mysteries are murder mysteries. It feels like the basic plot lines are working to 'thin out' the background of the book. There are several non-murder related mysteries alluded to throughout the series but are not explored and do not enhance the overall series.
Back to this book, specifically. I felt it was 'lighter' than some of the other novels. Kate doesn't seem to grow much in this paticular book, instead settling into growth from previous novels. This book lacks the romance novel feel that some readers complained about in previous books. While Kate has become a more overtly sexual being, her actual escapades are more alluded to than detailed. I found this to be a welcome change.
For fans new to the series, this novel is not a great place to start. Quite a bit of character interaction would be lost to someone not familiar with the series. To truly appreciate this novel the best place to start is in the beginning, with "A Cold Day for Murder" but a 'not so bad' place to start is in the middle with "Breakup."
I will continue to wait anxiously for the next Kate Shugak novel, but I hope that this book will prove to be a necessary connection to previous and future works. As it stands now, I was happy to reunite with an old friend, though the connection be brief and easy to read.